The Island Life

Since we last spoke, life (and my daily skincare routine) have changed drastically. 

For one thing, I received a Mary Kay facial which lead to my subsequent Mary Kay party and a complete overhaul of many of my favorite every day items. 

And the other thing?  I moved to the other side of the world. So my climate has basically gone from four seasons to two seasons: tropical wet and tropical dry. That’s right. I moved to a tropical island. No big deal. 

Any way, here’s the word on my skincare! Just before I left, I finally worked up the nerve to see a dermatologist about my acne (I break out a lot) and eczema (since childhood). My dermatologist completely blew my mind. First of all, the amount of product I was using to maintain what I thought was the ideal skincare regimen proved to be extraordinary amounts of the wrong thing.  I also found out that my skin is much more sensitive than I thought, which is why it often reacted so harshly to products that it found unfavorable. Hence the need to change what I was doing and change it fast. I set out from the office with two lists in my hand. One for the acne issues and the other for the eczema and was met with quite an amazing realization. My doctor literally changed everything from the soap that I use on a regular basis to what I use to moisturizer and wash my face to what I put on my body. 

Here goes, the new and improved skincare routine! 

  1. Facial Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, twice a day 
  2. Facial Moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
  3. Sunscreen: (depending on my mood) Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60 or La Roche Posay Sunscreen Fluid SPF 60 for Face
  4. Bar Soap: Dove Sensitive Skin 
  5. Moisturizer: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  6. Acne Treatment: Aczone gel

And there we have it! What products do you all use every day? Let me know in the comments section below and as always, Happy Adventuring! 


Skincare Sunday: Microdermabrasion at Home 

On a recent trip to The Body Shop, I was introduced to their Vitamin C Microdermabrasion exfoliator. At-home microdermabrasion is something I have been interested in since hearing about a PMD (personal microdermabrasion) and the DermaE microdermabrasion scrub. These two initial introductions to this world of at-home microdermabrasion, however, proved to be a little bit too much for my budget, which led me on this quest to find an affordable, yet effective way to microderm at home. 

The premise behind microdermabrasion is that it is a type of what I like to call “fine exfoliation.” Generally, when one thinks of exfoliating (or when I do, at least), they think of the traditional St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub kind of exfoliation, a gritty medium mixed with some goop in order to make your skin feel soft and smooth. Microdermabrasion has a similar effect except for the fact that particles used in microderm are much finer and smaller, therefore allowing you to exfoliate only the superficial layer of the skin rather than going deeper like coarser grains do. This removal of the top layer of dead skin cells leaves the smooth, soft underbelly of young, fresh skin; exactly what you want when you are ready for a night out on the town. 

I tried this Vitamin C microdermabrasion scrub and I have to say that I thought it felt great! Not too gritty or so fine that I felt like I was rubbing sand all over my face, but I definitely felt like it was doing something. Furthermore, it felt really moisturizing, thanks to the properties of its other mixtures (includes some great natural moisturizers, awesome!). In addition, I really enjoyed the scent, which I found was uplifting and refreshing. The Body Shop recommends that you use this scrub twice weekly at most, but since my skin is sensitive and prone to dryness, I will probably only use this scrub once a week. This time, I used only my hands but another way they suggest using it is with a facial exfoliating sponge or buffer, for added benefits and an even deeper clean. 

Stay tuned for updates and tidbits on microdermabrasion! Until then, happy beginning of the week and happy adventuring! 

Love, PB

The Morning Multitasker

I know this sounds crazy but bear with me: ever get so tired of your expensive morning routine that you want to just skip all the steps and go right to the part where you’re ready?

I do.

Morning routines can be difficult to keep, especially when they’re complexed and let’s face it, we have morning routines because we want our skin to remain as fresh, youthful and invigorated as possible so, most of our our routines require a level of commitment. I’ll share with you mine:

After jumping into the shower…
Step 1: Exfoliate (Sun+Thurs)/Facial cleansing (all other days)
Step 2: Toner
Step 3: Allow to air dry
Step 4: Moisturizer face, neck and chest area
Step 5: Depending on the day this could include make-up, putting in contacts, etc.

That may not seem like a lot for just my face, but consider the fact that I still have to shampoo and condition, brush my teeth, dry and style my hair and all that good stuff, time can be an important factor, especially when I’m running late! Enter the multitasking. I’ve found that combining a few of these steps helps alleviate some of that added mental stress, especially when on a time crunch

For example, I keep my exfoliating product (St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub) and my facial cleanser (Aveeno Daily Cleanser) in the shower so that I can wash my face and cleanse during the 2-3 minutes that my conditioner is sitting. Following that, immediately after I step out of the tub, I brush my teeth and apply my toner (Dickinson’s Witch Hazel) after which I moisturizer my body while waiting for the toner to air dry. Then, I apply my SPF facial moisturizer (currently Trader Joe’s enrich, SPF 15) and get dressed.

When all’s said and done, I’ve found that incorporating my routine into things I already do cuts my getting ready time in half! If you really pressure me, I can be ready to go, hair done, dressed and walking out the door all in about 15-20 minutes.

What’s your morning routine look like? How do you make it efficient and effective? Leave me a comment to tell me more!

Happy Adventuring!

Love, PB

Preview Post: June 29 – July 5th

To keep myself accountable and to excite more readers, this is a quick peek of what’s to come in the next few days:

  1. e.l.f. Product Review of my most-used and much-beloved make-up products, tools and accessories from this lovely line of cosmetics; it’ll be a good one!
  2. A post on my essential items; the things I can’t live without…because, well, every girl’s is different!
  3. What’s in Your Purse? Because I think a look into a bag can tell a lot about a person.
  4. Traveling savvy, a quick few tips and tricks on how to pack everything you need and your entire skincare routine in a travel-friendly, airport-compliant manner.
  5. Nails, Nails, Nails! Need I say more?
  6. Self Improvement Summer, some progress and updates; stay-tuned to hear about my summer mission!
  7. The much-awaited LUSH products reviews!

Not everything may happen every single day, but I’m figuring out how to post regularly and how to use the greatest invention on the earth: the scheduling posts feature on WordPress! I promise you’ll be getting at least four of these posts within the next few days, and if not, I’ll start posting massively this weekend!

And some upcoming topics – don’t forget that I’m open to suggestions, don’t be afraid to get in touch!

  • The rest of the LUSH reviews
  • Organizing the top of your dresser
  • Clothes and drawers, keeping those panties and bras in check!
  • My favorite summer look
  • Appropro?
  • Testing chic, what to wear when you’re taking exams and how to look great when stressed
  • Calming, soothing, happy thoughts: the way to keep yourself optimistic day in and day out
  • My morning routine/nighttime routine and what works for me!
  • My wishlist: the things that are still out of reach.

That’s all for tonight and I hope y’all have had a fabulous weekend! Love from the Big Apple and happy adventuring!

Love, PB

Off to See the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of…

Joe? Yes, Joe. Trader Joe’s!

Who needs Oz when you have two Trader Joe’s in two different neighboring towns? That’s right, I’m a little spoiled up here and I’m really enjoying being back home if only for the insane convenience of having my pick of TJ’s right around town. Today, I went to Trader Joe’s to peruse the merchandise, as many of my close friends and family swear by the TJ skincare regimen. I have always wanted to try their products, but have never had the chance to buy, since I’m always stocked up! Well, as fate would have it, I’ve just run out of my Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer (what a mouthful) and I’m in the market for something new.  (more…)

Sneak Peeks

I’m excited to announce that after deciding to treat myself today, I have a bunch of new products that I’m going to be reviewing for you this week!

Here’s a preview:


Spontaneous LUSH haul after a trip to the mall!

That’s right! I got myself to LUSH Cosmetics and in addition to the Lust bar soap and the Love Lettuce Face Mask (not pictured) that I purchased, the lovely ladies at LUSH gave me a few samples of other products I was interested in: the Jasmine-Henna and H’suan Wen Hua Hair Masks, the Fair Trade foot lotion and the Mint Julips Lip Scrub! How exciting!

In addition, I’m planning on reviewing for all of you my newest discovery and foray into the world of Forever21 camis, sold for just $1.80 and in a variety of colors as well!

Keep your eyes open and get ready for this great, fun time!


Love, PB